Mr. Warnock describes Albumette as an EP that spans different genres, something of interest to all audiences. Read more, below.
Artist: Deborah E
Review by Matthew Warnock
Becoming a great jazz or blues singer takes long hours in smoky clubs, years listening and learning from the greats, and a hefty dose of natural talent to build from. Vocalist Deborah E is an artist that has all of the above and more, all of which shine through on her EP Albumette. Floating between jazz and blues, taking the best of both worlds and blending them in a unique and highly personalized way, the talented singer gives a world class performance on this 5 song record, giving listeners a taste of her musical palette and leaving them wanting more after the final notes have drifted away. Albumette is exactly what an EP should be. It provides a diverse glimpse of what the artist can do without giving too much away, and intriguing the audience enough to check out more material. On both fronts Deborah and the album are successful.
As a vocalist, Deborah possesses a strong instrument, but even more importantly, she is able to inject her personality into each note and phrase. It’s never enough to just be able to sing in tune to be successful and Deborah knows this. She knows when to growl and when to soar, when to get quiet and when to peak the faders, just when one thinks they know what is coming next, she brings a new vocal timbre to the mix, increasing the intensity and audience engagement at the same time. In a day and age when many singers are manufactured in board rooms and get signed without ever having sung on a gig, Deborah is a breath of fresh air. Her sultry vocal style, coupled with a high level of musicianship, leave the impression that she has honed her craft by hitting the bandstand night after night. She sings from the heart, and immediately connects with the audience on a deep level, two reasons that the EP comes across as well as it does.
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Floating between jazz and blues, taking the best of both worlds and blending them in a unique and highly personalized way, the talented singer gives a world class performance on this 5 song record, giving listeners a taste of her musical palette and leaving them wanting more after the final notes have drifted away.
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The arrangements and backing band are also very strong throughout. From the jazzy piano and guitar on top of string pads on “Perfectly Wonderful World” to the groovin’, bluesy sax lines on “Just Say When,” the band is in fine form and compliment Deborah’s vocals on each track, never becoming overbearing or too busy as they weave in between the singer’s phrases and lyrics. It is obvious that these guys can really play, and it would have been very easy for them to try and show off their skilled chops when given the chance. Each player prefers to focus on the emotional quality of their licks in situations where others might have gone straight to blistering chops instead. By doing so, they not only accentuate their musicianship, but they provide a solid backing for the vocals that comes across and an accompaniment and not competition for the limelight, as is too often the case.
Deborah E really brings her A game to Albumette, and the result is an EP that leaves listener’s ears satisfied and wanting more from the talented performer. With a little bit of everything, from jazz to blues to pop, on the record, fans of any or all of these genres will find something to enjoy, something that is hard to do with any recording. Though it is only 5 songs long, and even if it provokes anticipation of what is to come from Deborah and her group, this EP is definitely worth checking out as it stands out on its own as a work of artistic merit.
Review by Matthew Warnock